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Understanding AVS Mismatch & Payment Declines

January 24, 20244 minute read
AVS mismatch

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on AVS mismatch and payment declines. In this article, we will delve into the details of AVS, or Address Verification System, and its impact on online transactions. If you’ve ever encountered an AVS error, an AVS decline, or faced issues with AVS mismatch, this guide will provide you with valuable insights and solutions.

First, let’s clarify what an AVS mismatch entails. An AVS mismatch occurs when the address entered by a customer during an online transaction does not match the address on record with their bank. This discrepancy can result in payment declines and cause frustration for both customers and business owners. Address verification is a key mechanism in preventing credit card fraud, and understanding its implications is crucial for merchants.

What Causes an AVS Mismatch Error?

An AVS mismatch error occurs when the address provided by the customer does not match the address on file with their bank. There are several reasons why an AVS mismatch can occur:

  1. Typing errors in the address
  2. Outdated address information with the bank
  3. Using a shipping address instead of a billing address

AVS codes are used to indicate the type of match or mismatch between the addresses. These codes include:

AVS Code Description
Full Match The billing address provided matches the address on file
Partial Match Part of the billing address provided matches the address on file
No Match The billing address provided does not match the address on file

These codes help merchants determine whether to accept or decline the transaction based on the level of address verification. Configuring AVS filters accordingly can help minimize false declines and prevent fraudulent transactions.

How to Handle AVS Mismatch Errors as a Merchant

As a merchant, it’s crucial to have a strategy in place for handling AVS mismatch errors. One option is to trust recurring customers and allow the payment to continue, even if flagged by the AVS system. This can help prevent unnecessary declines and ensure a smooth checkout experience for loyal customers. By trusting their previous transaction history and patterns, you can minimize the impact of AVS mismatches and reduce the risk of false declines.

If an AVS mismatch occurs with a new customer or a transaction that seems suspicious, it’s important to reach out to the customer to verify their information and determine if it was a simple mistake. This can be done through email, phone, or an automated system that sends verification requests. By taking this personalized approach, you can ensure the security of the transaction and prevent potential fraudulent activity.

In some cases, retrying the transaction can resolve an AVS error. This can involve re-entering the customer’s information or modifying specific settings within your payment processing system. By giving the customer an opportunity to correct any errors or update their information, you can avoid unnecessary declines and provide a seamless checkout experience.

Working with a payment processor that has strong AVS filters is another effective way to handle AVS mismatch errors. These filters detect and flag potentially fraudulent transactions, providing an added layer of security. By partnering with a trusted payment processor that prioritizes fraud prevention, you can minimize the risk of AVS mismatches and protect your business from financial loss.

Offering a streamlined payment process to customers can also help minimize AVS mismatch errors and create a seamless checkout experience. Invoicing software, such as FreshBooks, automates the billing process and ensures accurate information is captured. By using a reliable invoicing system, you can reduce the likelihood of data entry errors and minimize AVS mismatches.

By implementing these strategies and leveraging technology, you can effectively handle AVS mismatch errors and provide a secure and convenient payment experience for your customers, while protecting your business from potential fraudulent transactions.


AVS mismatch errors can be a source of frustration for both customers and merchants, potentially resulting in payment declines and lost business opportunities. However, by understanding the causes of AVS mismatches and implementing effective strategies, merchants can mitigate the impact and provide a seamless checkout experience for their customers.

One of the key steps in handling AVS mismatch errors is to establish trust with recurring customers. By recognizing their reliability and allowing their transactions to proceed despite flagged AVS results, merchants can minimize unnecessary declines and ensure a smoother payment process.

Additionally, verifying customer information and reaching out to clarify any inconsistencies or mistakes can help resolve AVS mismatch issues. By having open lines of communication, merchants can address errors promptly and prevent unnecessary declines.

Working with a reliable payment processor that utilizes strong AVS filters is essential to detecting and flagging potential fraudulent transactions while minimizing false declines. Consider partnering with trusted providers to ensure a secure and efficient payment process for both you and your customers.

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